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Thread: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

  1. #11

    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Amrut Ji,

    I have just read "clearing accusations and doubts", its an engaging read.... I agree that one can realize or make clear ones views when writing, in my case though its more of a fool reveals himself when speaks . I can understand your frustration I had the same with Buddhism and GV. I still think GV has a lot to offer, but I do hope at some point that they will clear up their misunderstandings of others Siddhanta's, but I guess the whole Siddhanta thing can be confusing at times


    Again thank you for your input and your site, I will visit this more regular.

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    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Markendeya ji,

    I strongly feel that the mUla AcArya-s like rAmAnuja, mAdhva, vallabha and even chaitanya mahAprabhu were all holy men. They were not themselves rigidly attached to their own siddhAnta-s like many traditional people do. mAdva also taught advaita to those who showed interest in it. He got initiation from an ekadAnDI sanyAsin. chaitanya mahAprabhu (CMP) also was initiated into sanyAsa by a eka DAndI sanyAsin and the saint felt honoured to give sanyAsa dikshA to CMP. CMP also considered Sridhara svAmI's commentary on bhAgavat purANa as authentic including advaitic interpretation of some verses. I thik they faught against corrupt advaitins and not the practising ones.

    Yes siddhAnta-s can be confusing at times Hence we must constantly pray to God to show us the way, to guide us and one day, God will meet you with your guru.

    All AcArya-s stressed more on experience then mere logic. After complete breakdown of nyAya by SrI harsha's hands many peopel would remain satisfied by just philosophical discussions like in case of sAnkhya. No meditation. They all won because they has realized their true nature.

    I personally feel that even mAdhva would have had advaita experience, but certain things do not come in masses. Disciples often make mess. Destruction is the nature of time and so there will be mess. Even nAthamunI, a Sri vaiShNava had written a treatise on yoga and came in the dream of a great modern yogI T. Krishnamacharya of 20th century, (B. K. Iyengar was his brother-in-law), a SrI vaiShNava. Yoga accepts both saguNa and nirguNa ways of worship.

    I have not studied Buddhism, but Sri Ramakrishna says that there is no difference in (original) teachings of Lord Buddha and Advaita, indicating that They were just different approaches, with Lord Buddha renouncing vedic rites, as they were fear motivated and practised in a corrupted way by corrupt brAhmin-s. Similarly not paying attention to moral conduct which is the base of spirituality, only remaining content with philosophical approach of vedAnta made him to oppose them too. It must be the 'need of hour' at that time. Buddha himself said that his dharma will last 500 years.

    Hinduism has been lucky as from time to time, great saints have incarnated to show us way thereby reviving and sustaining sanAtana dharma.

    Upon gazing at any AcArya even mAdhAcArya I feel that he was very soft from within, full of devotion, so my heart cannot believe that such high souls can talk in derogatory way. Their original teachings could have been corrupted by later successors, a possibility in all sampradAya-s including advaita.

    So best is to avoid all confusion and keep praying to God to show you the way and do whatever you can do to progress spiritually.

    Good luck.

    Oh and take Neo-advaitins and neo-vedantains lightly or simply do not research more on them. I spend quite a few sleepless nights to gather material to reply to objections and in a way 'defending' advaita. It's really exhausting and too much time consuming.

    As said by many saints including Lord Buddha, 'An Ounce of practice is much better than Tons of theories'. A little bit of theory is necessary but excessive reading is not good. It does not harm than help. Mind remains active and then it becomes a habit to read and analyze any new shastra that you hear. SAstra-vAsanA also has to be eliminated. Ours is a demanding mind and we need to keep a check on it.

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  3. #13

    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 07 July 2015 at 03:24 PM.

  4. #14

    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Amrut Ji,

    I certainly take Neo-Advaitins and Non Duality teachers lightly, but not Advaita Vedanta, I am not directly opposed to them, especially Francis Lucille and Rupert Spira, I think they have a lot to offer,they make some valid points and I certainly learn something from them, but there are many other teachers that I immediately think uh oh time to switch off and never return. At least with Spira has has some background in Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism, so its not like he is totally ignorant, but what I do get from him is that most the time he is kind of preaching to himself, to remind himself and that would be unfair on his students.

    I really should take notes when I read things but I have been reading lately this version in English of Bhagavad Gita, I will post this verse as it is the one read last.

    In some purports, which I cant find from memory Sri Madhava and all the other acharayas are speaking Advaita, it seems unavoidable, even the verse in the above post from Srimad Bhagavatam seems to imply Advaita.

    I am not really an avid reader, although I read as part of my sadhana, and I do enjoy reading, what I find more useful is long periods of silence, then perhaps I will pick up a book or research what surfaces in the mind to look into. I feel a deep devotion to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and if I am asked my personal opinion of Him I think part of his external mission was to revive Bhakti and again unify the teachings rather than oppose them, it may be as you say followers tend to deviate in certain ways from the teachings, so maybe Jnana was becoming to empirical dry and intellectual MahaPrabhu was reinstalling Bhakti with Jnana. I for one which seems to be the same as you see the Acharyas bring back some type of balance where they need to and not are diametrically opposed to previous Acharyas.


    http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-12-11.html
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 07 July 2015 at 03:37 PM.

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    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Markendeya ji,

    bhagavAta has many verses supporting advaita, specially Uddhava gItA. there is a chapter on guNa-s which talk about advaita. There are other chapters too. I dont have the book right now but there are verses which say that if one cannot practice advaita bhakti, then go for saguNa upAsanA. Same is said in Sve. Up that nirAkAra bhakti is superior than sAkAra bhakti. Anyways, to some, though highly intellectual, sAkAra bhakti suits them, while to some yoga and to others GYAna. It all depends upon mental make-up. Generally emotional people find bakti more natural and effective than GYAna. If such person keeps practicing GYAna, because at that time it is superior and there is an undefeated master spreading advaita, then his progress will be stalled.

    I too am not an avid reader. I was not getting quotes from SAstra-s as to how Siva and viShNu can be same. I was also looking for support of the claim that Adi Sankara while referring to viShNu or nArAyaNa was not referring to caturbhuja viShNu. I compiled an article viShNu and caturbhuja viShNu, which are mostly quotes from viShNu purANa as it is the most widely quoted purANa by both Adi Sankara and rAmAnuja.

    AS you have said, that many AcArya-s have accepted advaita is also true. I searched for the verses containing pada, dhAma, parama pada, etc and read commentaries on these verses by vaiShNava AcArya-s. I was surprised that except vallabhAcArya jI no one has used the word vaikunTha for parama pada or parama dhAma (Krishna's Adobe). All talked it as a state of consciousness. mAdvA went ahead and gave a quote from nArada purANa.

    Here is the link Musings - Other Side of Coin

    There are some Sri vaishNava-s who thought Adi Sankara was a vaiShNava, so I complied another article Adi Sankara preached smArta dharma and other articles. Anyways, more discussion would sidetrack from Original question.

    Generally people are looking for a peaceful and happy life. They don't want stress and want to enjoy their life. Due to present life style, they become stressed and are in tension. So they search for 'peace of mind' by attending such workshops. Hence they are getting more popular. Today, business of psychiatrist, Yoga, Mindfullness meditation Gurus (mostly of Buddhist lineage), Self Hypnosis, Energy Based Healing and Meditation Technique often called as new age healing are growing in popularity. Philosophically Advaita is also getting popular. They can integrate Non-duality in their life without leaving their christian background or without changing their way of living or pledging belief in a particular messenger of God. So they find it easy to accept it. If we say only krishna and no other God will give you liberation then it becomes same as their philosophy that only my God and no other is capable of giving liberation. Hence Advaita is gaining popularity. People do not have time and do not want to go deep in the siddhAnta-s

    Hari OM
    Last edited by Amrut; 08 July 2015 at 03:54 AM. Reason: corrected typos
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  6. #16

    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Namaste EM Ji,


    One of the reasons why Buddhism has been a great success globally is because it manages to integrate with the existing culture.
    My view is that original Advaita teachings are perfect but subsequent teachers are lacking in practical experience.
    Guatam Buddha knew the answers. That is why he could convert many well advanced teachers of his time into Buddhism.
    The method he used successfully was giving face to face EXPERIENCE in meditation directly.

    Buddha teachings in absence of direct experience are impressing westerners due to their LOGIC.

  7. #17

    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Amrut Ji,

    Ultimately the Shastra are not a one size fits all, I think that's the beauty of Sanatana Dharma. Intellectual understanding can never artificially create realization. I tend to have more of an personal affiliation with Smarta Dharma, technically I am not sure if that is considered pure Advaita, but it seems to be, plus I would assume to be a real Smarta one needs to have Brahmin thread and initiation, which is something that I have denied in this life time, I have come under some criticism from my Guru Bhai's because of this.

    But if Adi Shankara did preach Smarta Dharma, which it seems so then again he is unifying the whole vast fabric of Sanatana Dharma and its diversity of approach, so then surely a follower of Sri Adi Shankara would in fact be an educated liberal.

    Whats important to me on an individual level is not to artificially create my approach to the Supreme, if something I can't understand no need to force it but at the same time I feel no need to disregard other aspects, one should understand their inclination and inspiration in the their approach, then things seem to arise naturally, one could even get totally confused if Shastra is studied purely from an academic point of view, as its transcends academia and intellectual approach, each of us have unique vasana's and Shastra and different traditions will appeal to everyone, when it comes a comparing game of mine is better than yours everything falls apart. If one is inspired by a certain aspect be it Dvaita or Advaita then the particulars of that tradition should be followed with Buddhi yoga in context of that path and teaching. There does seem to be distinction in non distinction as far as I can see, which makes it all the more interesting.

    There was a Sanskrit word that I found recently, and something that I had been looking for a very long time, and that is that the Rishis, great teachers, Acharyas are full of tricks, so the teachings will vary depending how they are tricking the individual to approach and realize the Supreme, but like many times I forgot to take notes and now I cant find again. Each teaching should be understood in the exact context of the teachings, and to much cross referencing usually ends up in heated debates and then everything is taken out of context and the purports of Shastra is lost.

    Non of what I have said is in reference to any former post, I just felt the need to write it this morning. I am still neophyte and always learning, as long as I am learning and not being stuck in knowing then I consider that best until however I get full realization, but surely that depends on Grace. How fortunate we are just to have any sort of inclination in transcendent liberating subject matters, gratitude plays a huge a role.

  8. #18
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    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaste Markandeya ji,

    A quick reply. In general we are all smArta-s. Sacred thread is not just for brAhmin-s but for all 3 varNa-s. It is necessary for performing vedic rituals. I haev a sacred thread, but I dont chant Gayatri Mantra, nor do anything that I, as a brAhmin is supposed to do. So in the ned it matters very little that I have sacred thread. Good part is that I am initiated into OM and so there is no need of vedic karma kANDa and chanting Gayatri.

    Dont worry with too much reasoning. Genuine doubts that occur in our mid when we study SAstra-s need to be answered but as you have said, anything in excess is poison.

    Will reply to other points later.

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  9. #19
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    Smile Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Namaste Amrut Ji,

    Ultimately the Shastra are not a one size fits all, I think that's the beauty of Sanatana Dharma. Intellectual understanding can never artificially create realization. I tend to have more of an personal affiliation with Smarta Dharma, technically I am not sure if that is considered pure Advaita, but it seems to be, plus I would assume to be a real Smarta one needs to have Brahmin thread and initiation, which is something that I have denied in this life time, I have come under some criticism from my Guru Bhai's because of this.
    Namaste Markandeya ji,

    Yes, it's not always 'one size fits all'. That is why we have many approaches. For an individual the path is monotheistic, but Hindu dharma as a whole may appear to be polytheist, but the ultimate reality , Brahman is only one and hence it is monotheistic. Only ways to worship God are different.

    But if Adi Shankara did preach Smarta Dharma, which it seems so then again he is unifying the whole vast fabric of Sanatana Dharma and its diversity of approach, so then surely a follower of Sri Adi Shankara would in fact be an educated liberal.
    Followers of Adi Sankara may or may not be liberal. It depends upon personal choice. Now-a-days few practice smArta dharma, specially non-brAhmin-s. Also not many people follow traditional teachings.

    Whats important to me on an individual level is not to artificially create my approach to the Supreme, if something I can't understand no need to force it but at the same time I feel no need to disregard other aspects, one should understand their inclination and inspiration in the their approach, then things seem to arise naturally, one could even get totally confused if Shastra is studied purely from an academic point of view, as its transcends academia and intellectual approach, each of us have unique vasana's and Shastra and different traditions will appeal to everyone, when it comes a comparing game of mine is better than yours everything falls apart. If one is inspired by a certain aspect be it Dvaita or Advaita then the particulars of that tradition should be followed with Buddhi yoga in context of that path and teaching. There does seem to be distinction in non distinction as far as I can see, which makes it all the more interesting.
    I agree. That is why we have SAstra-s in Q & A format. But there is a difference between 'doubt' and 'debate'. doubts are genuine enquiries that our mind does. We need clarity. Doubts need to be answered. Answers solve our doubts, give clarity and increase faith. Hence one is questioner and another is a Guru. in debates both try to stick to their POV which is called as jalpa. In vAda, one thinks over the logic of opponent, understands it and then answers it. In viTaNDa, there is no POV. Only thing a viTaNDAvAdI does is to keep refuting opponent's views. Our SAstra-s encourage asking questions, as Arjuna kept asking upto 18 chapters, but the question has to be generated from sincere enquiry.

    There was a Sanskrit word that I found recently, and something that I had been looking for a very long time, and that is that the Rishis, great teachers, Acharyas are full of tricks, so the teachings will vary depending how they are tricking the individual to approach and realize the Supreme, but like many times I forgot to take notes and now I cant find again. Each teaching should be understood in the exact context of the teachings, and to much cross referencing usually ends up in heated debates and then everything is taken out of context and the purports of Shastra is lost.
    Even I forget to take notes

    SAstra-s indeed have been written in encripted ways. Puri Paramacharya (Govardhan Puri Sankara Math's Pontiff) has discovered mathemetical formulas in veda-s including the famous PI (3.142) and that too upto 10 digits (if my memory is not failing me).

    If you enter into the world of yoga and tantra, whole approach changes.

    Meru parvat (mountain) is actually a brahmaDaNDa, spinal cord. Inside it is suShumNA. Around it everything, the inner universe revolves says Siva samhitA. It also gives the meaning of yonI, the option criticized 'word' termed as sexiest. yonI means an interted trialgle of energy near to mulAdhAra chakra and svAdhiSTAna chakra. Inside this yonI (which means energy), lies a serpant with 3 1/2 coils and it's head downwards, meaning it is sleeping. Inside this coils is the kunDalini devi. The mouth of this yonI (outer covering of kunDalini) opens inside suShumNA and this yonI is called as brahma yonI (as per Siva samhitA).

    kAma is not just desire for love i.e. mating desire. It simply means a desire or wish. Hence kAmeSvara, the god of desires, Siva desired to create the world. Hence he along with kameSavarI (UmA-pArvatI) is called as the Lord of creation. He desired to create this world.

    Refer to this excellent article on kameSvara and explanation of maheSvara sUtra-s and it's link to varNa mAlA (sanskrit alphabets - vowels and consonants)

    Non of what I have said is in reference to any former post, I just felt the need to write it this morning. I am still neophyte and always learning, as long as I am learning and not being stuck in knowing then I consider that best until however I get full realization, but surely that depends on Grace. How fortunate we are just to have any sort of inclination in transcendent liberating subject matters, gratitude plays a huge a role.
    It's good to speak your heart. Pleasure talking to you

    Gratitude, faith, devotion are pillars of spirituality. Without grace nothing can happen

    OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Advaita Vedanta and non dual teachings.

    Namaskar,

    I agree with what you're saying Markandeya-ji. There are many neo-Advaita "teachers" popping up out of thin air these days and, as EM-ji stated, these "teachers" tend to discard the rules and regulations given in the sastras. Therefore, they cannot be considered pure gurus or true Advaitins in the traditional sense because they have not accepted the authority of scripture. However, I will say that they are tapping into some bit of Truth. It's not that Truth is reserved only for the followers of Hinduism; truth is for everyone no matter where you come from. This is why Advaita is becoming so popular, because it allows for non-sectarianism and all-inclusivity. In my personal opinion, this is necessary if we truly want to have a world of peace. So we should at least view these "teachers" as brothers and sisters on the path to Oneness, even if we may not view them as bonafide spiritual masters.

    I don't waste my time listening to anybody who is not part of an authentic, bonafide parampara. The parampara allows us to trace the teaching back to the Adi guru and eventually back to God. Without the parampara we have no way of knowing who these "teachers" are or where they come from. Therefore, we should be wary of anyone who claims to be a "teacher" of their own accord. However, with that being said, people of any tradition can have a direct experience of Truth. It's not that only Hindus can know Truth. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the Hindu tradition is the best tradition for discovering and knowing Truth, but it doesn't mean that it is necessarily right for everyone.

    Direct experience always transcends "head knowledge". Most teachers give you "head knowledge" (accept for a very select few who are actually able to impart direct experience), but most of the time it is up to us to have the direct experience. Without direct experience, the teachings given to us carry no weight. This is why sadhana is so important. Our sadhana gives us the ability to have direct experiences with God, and as these experiences grow stronger and stronger in nature the various philosophical systems of man lose their significance.

    Ultimately, all these philosophies (Dvaita, Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, Acintya Bhedabheda, etc.) and traditions lead to the same Ultimate Truth; whichever way one leans depends on one's particular temperament. In my opinion, we should eventually transcend all of these philosophies as they tend to be instinctive and intellectual in nature. This is why I prefer not to label myself because labels come from language and language is always dualistic in nature (it IS this, it ISN'T that). I wasn't born speaking the English language, but I was born with consciousness. Consciousness transcends language; consciousness transcends our man-made labels. So, on the outside looking in, someone may label me as a follower of the Hindu tradition who tends to lean towards Advaita philosophy and Smarta Dharm, but ultimately I am a follower of Truth. This is why I prefer the label of Sanatan Dharm over the label of Hinduism because Sanatan Dharm carries less sectarian connotations. Sanatan Dharm is non-dual, whereas the Hindu label is very much dualistic in nature. In conclusion, Truth is Truth and Truth is beautiful and Truth will always transcend man's labels and languages.

    Hari Om Namah Sivaya

    LightOfOm
    ॐ मृत्युंजयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शम्भवे l
    अमृतेशाय शर्वाय महादेवाय ते नम: ll

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